Executions and Commissions Concern President Lincoln

December 4, 1862

Navy Secretary Gideon Welles writes in his diary: “The Members of Congress from Minnesota are urging the President vehemently to give his assent to the execution of three hundred Indian captives, but they will not succeed. Undoubtedly the savage wretches have been guilty of great atrocities, and I have as little doubt the stories of their barbarities, bad enough in themselves, are greatly exaggerated.  What may have been the aggressions and provocations which led the Indians on is not told us.  When the intelligent Representatives of a State can deliberately besiege the Government to take the lives of these ignorant barbarians by wholesale, after they have surrendered themselves prisoners, it would seem the sentiments of the Representatives were but slightly removed from the barbarians whom they would execute.  The Minnesotans are greatly exasperated and threaten the Administration if it shows clemency.”

Attorney General Edward Bates writes President Lincoln regarding commissions in the Union army: “I venture to enclose you the within newspaper slip, being the only intimation I have upon the subject.

And, in connection, I beg to remind you, that, at the last Session, you nominated six (I think) Brigr Genls — including [George H.] Crosman, [Stewart] Van Vleit & others– They were passed over — not acted on by the Senate.

You may think (as I did until now) that they would, of course, be acted on at this Session. But I learn, this moment, that the Senate will probably not act upon them without re-nomination.

Believing that those men ought not to be slurred over or s[h]uffled out of sight, I have thought it my duty to bring them to your remembrance.

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Published in: on December 4, 2012 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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